Limpopo DG suspended pending investigation

2013-10-29 08:35

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Limpopo was pushed to the verge of collapse and found itself sitting with a deficit of more than R2 billion under her watch. Now the chickens may be coming home to roost for the province’s director-general (DG), Rachel Molepo-Modipa.

She had survived the chop when the political axe fell on the head of former premier Cassel Mathale, who was at the helm of the province when it was placed under administration amid allegations of maladministration and corruption.

But Molepo-Modipa was suspended late yesterday after the department of public service and administration informed Premier Stan Mathabatha that she was being investigated, although the latter’s office did not divulge the nature of the charges she was facing.

Mathabatha’s spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha, said Molepo-Modipa joins about 88 senior managers in the provincial government who have been given letters “to say that we intend to investigate, you are called for a hearing”.

Among those who have already been affected are two heads of department: cooperative governance and traditional affairs’ Nana Manamela and education’s Morebudi Thamaga.

A multipronged investigation by, among others, the Hawks, the department of public service and administration and the SA Revenue Service was under way, with more heads expected to roll.

Mathivha added that 302 cases were being investigated, which are all linked to maladministration and corruption.

Molepo-Modipa recently patted herself on the back when speaking on a regional radio station and said she was not part of the rotten apples.

She confirmed today that she had received a letter of suspension from Mathabatha yesterday. Molepo-Modipa, however, refused to comment on the details of her suspension, saying she will only make a statement after disciplinary processes had been wrapped up.

She also said she was not aware that she was being investigated by any law enforcement agency as that was not included in her suspension letter.

Mathiva said: “(Molepo-Modipa) was the DG last year when the province reached a deficit of R2.7 billion and could not even pay civil servants. She was the DG when the province was placed under administration and when the new administration (led by Mathabatha) came in. It was a question of how can the premier (Mathale) go and the DG remain?

“The DG has been placed on precautionary suspension after the department of public service and administration and the National Prosecuting Authority gave us the green light to say she was under investigation.”

Molepo has been in the news for, among other things, not cooperating fully with administrators after the province’s five departments were put under administration for failing to properly manage their finances.

She was known to be against the national government’s intervention, which saw Limpopo’s purse strings being tightened. The province was gradually recovering from its financial crisis, although it continued to perform badly in recent audit reports.

» This story was updated after first published to add Molepo-Modipa's comment.

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